Walter Goodman

Walter Goodman

Walter Goodman (11 May, 1838 - 20 August, 1912) was a British painter, illustrator and author.

The son of British portrait painter Julia Salaman (1812-1906) and London linen draper and town councellor, Louis Goodman (1811-1876), he studied with J. M. Leigh and at the Royal Academy in London, where he was admitted as a student in 1851. Recent research has unearthed details of around fifty works by Goodman. Unfortunately the present whereabouts of most these are unknown, notable exceptions being "The Printseller" (c.1882), acquired by the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester in 1998, portraits of actresses "Mary Anne Keeley" (also known as "Mrs. Keeley At Fourscore") and "Fanny Stirling" (1885), both in the collection of London's Garrick Club, "A Kitchen Cabinet", a trompe l'oeil painting in a private collection in New York, a Cuban scene, "Home of the Bamboo", in a private collection in London, and "Longing Eyes" (c.1884), which is still in the possession of the Goodman family.

Early work

One of Goodman's earliest recorded works is his depiction of the 1858 trial of Dr Simon Bernard over the attempted assassination of Napoleon III. The painting hung in the Tavistock Square home of Goodman's uncle, Sir John Simon, who worked on the trial [Jewish Chronicle July 2nd 1897. Page 21] ["R v. Bernard" [1858] 8 St. Tr. N.S. 887, (1858) 1 F&F 240] . Two of Goodman's other early works were exhibited at The British Institution on Pall Mall in London - "Doctoring The Cane" (1859) and "Bible Stories" (1861) [Wood, Christopher. Victorian painters. 3rd ed. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1995. Pressmark: Ref 759.2 WOO] .

A publication of 1859 refers to Goodman as a "scene painter" and goes on to describe Goodman's (and various siblings') appearance in an amateur play staged at the Baker Street, London home of another uncle, the composer Charles Kensington Salaman (1814-1901). The production received glowing reviews [Jewish Chronicle May 13th 1859. Page 8] .


Goodman spent almost three years in Florence, beginning in 1861, refining his skills by copying Old Master paintings at the Uffizi and Pitti palaces. There he met fellow artist, Joaquín Cuadras, whom he painted several times. In 1861 Goodman's painting of the "Interior of The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Genoa" was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy [Baile de Laperrière, Charles, ed. The Royal Scottish Academy exhibitors 1826-1990. Calne: Hilmarton Manor, 1991. Pressmark: Ref 709.2GB] .

One of Goodman's favourite destinations was Spain - he was fluent in Spanish [The Theatre November 1st 1885. Page 241] . He travelled with Cuadras to Barcelona in 1862, where he spent almost a year, before returning alone to England and, later, Scotland. In Edinburgh, he resided for a short time during 1864 with his journalist brother, Edward John, then an assistant to Edinburgh Courant publisher, James Hannay, whom he painted (exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1864 [Baile de Laperrière, Charles, ed. The Royal Scottish Academy exhibitors 1826-1990. Calne: Hilmarton Manor, 1991. Pressmark: Ref 709.2GB] ), as well as author, David Smith. Another work, entitled "Head" was also exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy the same year [Jewish Chronicle April 21st 1893. Page 17] .

In 1864, rejoined by Cuadras, he set sail on a French steamer from Saint-Nazaire to the West Indies [Pearl of The Antilles or An Artist in Cuba, London: H.S.King & Co.1871 Chapter 1 ] . Most of Goodman's time in the West Indies was spent in Santiago and Havana, Cuba, working as an artist and journalist and painting theatrical sets. Goodman and Cuadras were imprisoned for a short time in the Morro Castle in Santiago [Pearl of The Antilles or An Artist in Cuba, London: H.S.King & Co.1871 Chapter 8 ] . During his time in Cuba, Goodman contributed articles and letters to the New York Herald, using the nom de plume "el Caballero Inglese", until civil unrest forced him to flee to New York in January 1870 [Jewish Chronicle February 5th 1875. Page 18] on board the American steamer Morro Castle [Pearl of The Antilles or An Artist in Cuba, London: H.S.King & Co.1871 Chapter 30 ] .

He may have spent as much as a year in the United States and is known to have travelled to Rome [Jewish Chronicle October 17th 1873. Page 483] before returning to London in 1871. In that year he exhibited a portrait of "Evelyn, Daughter of G.J.Reid, Esq. of Tunbridge Wells" at the Royal Academy and his portrait of his uncle, "Serjeant Simon M.P." was displayed at the Royal Oak Hotel in Simon's constituency of Dewsbury, Yorkshire [Jewish Chronicle November 24th 1871. Page 14] . In 1872 Goodman contributed a piece entitled "A Cigarette Manufacturer At Havana" to the London Society magazine. In 1873 he published an account of his years in Cuba, entitled "The Pearl of the Antilles, or An Artist in Cuba", to favorable reviews (reprinted in Cuba in 1986). The book was based upon a series of humorous sketches first published in Charles Dickens' periodical All the Year Round. The same year he contributed some sketches of Santiago to The Graphic magazine.

Prolific period

The February, 1874 issue of "Cassell's Magazine" included two articles by Goodman titled "Saved From a Wreck" and "Cuba Without a Master." That winter also saw the exhibition of oil paintings titled "Young Castile" and "Voices of the Sea" at London's Dudley and French Galleries, respectively. In 1876 he exhibited a drawing, "The Language of the Face" at The Black and White Exhibition at The Dudley Gallery and "Morning Work" at the London Exhibition of Fine Arts. The latter work was probably a trompe l'oeil painting, as it is described in a publication of the day as "a housemaid is cleaning a window, which the spectator is meant to be looking through" [Jewish Chronicle June 16th 1876. Page 170] .

In 1877 two pages of drawings of Russian peasantry by Goodman appeared in the "Illustrated London News", as well as an illustration for a Wilkie Collins story, "A Bit for Bob" in the magazine's Christmas Number, entitled "A Little Baggage." Around this time, Goodman moved to Bradford, Yorkshire and lived with his sister, Alice for several years. Goodman contributed a drawing ("God is taking care of me") to the Ellen Haile children's book "Three Brown Boys and other Happy Children" which was published in 1879. The other main contributing artist was the renowned children's book illustrator Kate Greenaway. In 1878 he exhibited an unnamed oil painting depicting a northern England factory girl returning home from work, at The Dudley Gallery [Jewish Chronicle December 7th 1877. Page 6] . That same year Goodman scored two coups involving the new Chinese diplomatic missions to Europe. Liu Hsi-Hung, Chinese minister to the Court of Berlin, commissioned him to copy the National Gallery's "Madonna in Prayer" by Sassoferrato, reputedly the first commission given by a Chinese to an English artist. The painting was subsequently dispatched to Germany [Sala's Journal March 4th 1893. Page 199] , He also painted "His Excellency Kuo Ta-Jen (Kuo Sung-Tao), Chinese Minister to the Court of St. James" (China's first such ambassador), initially exhibited in 1879 at the Royal Academy and later at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. The same year Goodman sent another full-length portrait of a "A Chinese Lady of Rank" to the Royal Academy. This was a group portrait of a young Chinese girl in native dress (in fact the Chinese ambassador's wife), her young child, and child's nurse. A preliminary study for this painting was displayed for Queen Victoria in March 1879 at Windsor Castle [Jewish Chronicle March 21st 1879. Page 12] . Perhaps this meeting led to The Queen's son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, sitting for Goodman. His portrait was submitted to the Royal Academy in 1881. The painting was purchased that year by The National Hospital in Queen Square, London [Jewish Chronicle November 27th 1891. Page 16] . However, Goodman states in Sala's Journal that the painting was purchased by the hospital in or after 1884. The hospital has no record of the present whereabouts of the painting.

Goodman contributed an essay to The Theatre in late 1885, entitled "An English Ballet in Spain".

The Printseller

In 1883 Goodman displayed "The Printseller", a fascinating trompe l'oeil depiction of the contents of a printseller's window (including the merchant himself, placing a figure in the display) at a special exhibition at St. James Gallery in London. Later that year he displayed it at The Walker Art Gallery and then offered the painting at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibition. Priced at 315 pounds, the painting did not find a buyer, causing the artist to re-exhibit it the following year at the Royal Scottish Academy. Another painting to be shown that year was "Longing Eyes", at the Walker Art Gallery.

Goodman is credited with portraits of the then "Duke of Edinburgh" (Victoria's second son Alfred) and railroad builder "Sir Thomas Brassey and his wife, Sarah Knowles Bolton". His last Royal Academy submission (1888) was a portrait entitled "Mrs. Keeley in her 83rd Year" which is recorded as having subsequently found its way to London's bohemian Savage Club, of which the artist was a member from 1873 to 1894 and where his brother Edward was chairman of the committee [New York Times June 22nd 1879. Page 2] . Another Keeley painting, "Mrs. Keeley At Fourscore" (now housed at the Garrick Club) was exhibited at Institute of Oil Painters in 1885. Goodman was an admirer of Mary Anne Keeley and her acting family, publishing an appreciation in 1895 entitled "The Keeleys on the Stage and at Home", which contains engravings of several of his portrait paintings. Goodman's life interest in the theatre culminated in an appearance with Mrs. Keeley in a full-scale production on the stage of the Prince of Wales theatre on the night of January 16, 1884. At about the same time he painted the actress, Mrs. Alfred Mellon. Another actress whose portrait Goodman painted was Amy Sedgwick. A year after her death in 1897, her third husband presented the portrait to the Garrick Club, where it remained until 1969 [A Catalogue of Pictures in the Garrick Club compiled by C K Adams & published by the Club 1936] . Other theatre-related personalities who were captured by Goodman's brush included "Negro Delineator," E. W. Mackney, and dramatist, Henry Pettit.

In 1887 Goodman exhibits three portraits - "Mary Anne Keeley", "Fanny Stirling", and "Grace Darling", at the Signor Palladiense Gallery, on Bond Street in London [Jewish Chronicle June 10th 1887. Page 5] .

In 1890 Goodman contributed at least one painting to an exhibition in New York. The proceeds from the sale of the paintings were to benefit the ailing Irish-born American artist Arthur Lumley(1837-1912) [New York Times October 21st 1890] .


Around 1889 Goodman married Clara Isabel, from Leicester, and moved to Brighton, where a son, Walter Russell, was born, followed by Joaquin (1891), Reginald (1893), Julia (1894) and Keeley (1899). In 1901 he authored a two-part article in the "Magazine of Art" entitled "Artists Studios: As They Were and As They Are." In the piece Goodman makes it clear that he was on familiar terms (at least enough so as to have been able to visit a number of their studios first hand) with many of the great painters of the Victorian Age, six of whom are portrayed in "The Printseller".

In 1889 Goodman exhibited two portraits at the Institute of Oil Painters in London - "Mr Lionel Brough" [ 1890 catalog of the annual exhibition of the Institute of Oil Painters] and "Mr Henry Russell" [ 1889 catalog of the annual exhibition of the Institute of Oil Painters] . The following year his portrait of "The Late Mr. Wilkie Collins at the age of 56" was shown at the The Royal Society of British Artists [Johnson, Jane. Works exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists 1824-1893 and the New English Art Club 1888-1917. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1975. Pressmark: Ref 709.2GB BRA] .

People I Have Painted

Between 11 February and 1 July 1893 Goodman contributed a weekly essay "People I Have Painted" to Sala's Journal [Jewish Chronicle April 21st 1893. Page 17] . Each essay detailed the often humorous circumstances surrounding a particular painting or series of paintings Goodman had created. The subjects of these essays were entitled:

The Emperor Of The French [Sala's Journal February 11th 1893. Page 134]

Around 1859 Goodman was commissioned to produce a series of seven large (six feet by four feet) panoramic views illustrative of the Italian war of 1859, most of which would feature The French Emperor, Napoleon III. Two of these works were to be transparencies, designed to be artificially lit from behind. Goodman recorded that his cleaning lady almost ruined some of these works due to her over-zealousness and his own forgetfulness. The Emperor never sat for Goodman in person - all paintings were executed with help of the many photographs of Napoleon III that were to be found in London at the time. The paintings were intended for a Continental show and were destined to be shipped to Odessa. Before this, the series was privately exhibited in the apartment where they had been painted. At the time of writing, in 1893, Goodman had no knowledge of the whereabouts of the seven paintings.

Prince Leopold [Sala's Journal February 25th 1893. Page 186]

In 1881, at Goodman's request, Prince Leopold sat for him at his London studio. Goodman notes that prior to the Prince's visit on February 5th 1881, he requested that his cleaning lady make the studio "extra tidy" as he was expecting a prince. During the sitting the Prince's sister, Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, Marchioness of Lorne also paid a visit to Goodman's studio. Prince Leopold was in failing health and further sittings took place in the somewhat warmer surroundings of the Prince's apartments at Windsor Castle. Prince Leopold died in 1884, and in that year the painting was exhibited at the Guildhall Academy of Arts. It was subsequently purchased by The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in Queen Square, London.

His Excellency Kuo Sung Tao [Sala's Journal March 4th 1893. Page 199-200]

In 1878, Goodman was commissioned by the Chinese Ambassador to Great Britain and France to paint his portrait. The minister in question's family name was Kuo Sung-Tao, and he held the official title of Kuo Ta-Jen. Goodman writes of the difficulties experienced while attempting to capture his subject's grand attire. The sittings took place at Goodman's home at Notting Hill, London, and he notes the wonder and excitement of the local inhabitants at the arrival of the ambassador's carriages and at the exotic occupants delivered to his home. By having his portrait painted, Kou Sung-Tao incurred the wrath and ridicule of his countrymen back home. To such an extent in fact that he returned the portrait to Goodman and requested his money back - which Goodman declined to do. Goodman states that he informed His Excellency "if it was against the customs of his country for a mandarin to have his portrait painted, it was not less at variance with the rigid rules of the outer barbarian to return money".

A Chinese Lady Of Rank [Sala's Journal March 11th 1893. Page 237-238]

The lady in question was one of the three wives of the Chinese Ambassador. Her name was Kuo Tai-Tai. Goodman goes to great lengths to explain her exotic appearance and that of her small child, Ying-Sung. The (eighteen) sittings took place in 1879 at the Chinese Legation at Portland Place, London (the present day Chinese Embassy). Also described is a reception held at the embassy at which the Prime Minister of the day, William Gladstone was present. The portrait was a group picture of Kuo Tai-Tai, her child Ying-Sung, and the child's nurse.

Mrs. Keeley At Fourscore [Sala's Journal March 18th 1893. Page 247-248]

Jack Sheppard After Many Years [Sala's Journal March 25th 1893. Page 272-273]

In the final essay he contributed to Sala's Journal, Goodman describes a 17-installment short story about a game of whist that he wrote for The Manchester Courier, entitled "Romance of the Rubber".

Later years

In the early 1900s Goodman was commissioned to travel to Poděbrady in Bohemia to paint the portrait of Prince Hohenlohe and that of his daughter Elisabeth. According to reports, both works were met with much success [Jewish Chronicle December 7th 1906. Page 32] .

The Jewish Chronicle commissioned Goodman to draw a study of his mother, Julia Goodman on the occasion of her 90th birthday. It appeared in the 7 June 1902 edition of that publication.

In 1906 Goodman exhibited a portrait of his son, Keeley, at the Institute of Oil Painters in London [1906 catalog of the annual exhibition of the Institute of Oil Painters (Pressmark: 200.B.292)] . At the Exhibition of Jewish Art and Antiquities at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in late 1906 he exhibited three works - "The Late Sampson Lucas", "Mrs Keeley", and "The Cuban Mulatto Girl" [Catalog of the "Exhibition of Jewish Art and Antiquities, Nov. 7 to Dec. 16", London (1906)] .

From 1906 Goodman suffered from severe ill health, and was unable to continue painting. Later in life he resided at Henfield, Sussex with his family, but later moved to Stoke St. Mary, Somerset and finally, Kilburn, London, leaving his wife and children in Henfield. He died from cancer 20 August, 1912 in Kilburn, North London. His funeral was held on 24 August and he is buried in Hampstead Cemetery, North London. A small obituary appeared in the 30 August 1912 edition of The Jewish Chronicle. This is the last known reference to Walter Goodman in the public record.


*"Trail of Dr Simon Bernard in the assassination attempt of Napoleon III" (1858)
*"Battle of Montebello, with 84th Regiment, headed by Colonel Cambuels and General Forey, attacking the Austrians" (1859)
*"Attack and capture of the Bridge of Magenta by General Vinoy" (1859)
*"The Emperor of The French at Solferino" (1859)
*"Bivouac of French Troops at Alessandria" (1859)
*"The Emperor Visiting the Wounded in Hospital" (1859)
*"Reception of he Emperor and Count Cavour at Genoa" (1859)
*"Peace Rejoicings at Milan, with the Cathedral brilliantly illuminated" (1859)
*"Doctoring The Cane" (1859)
*"Bible Stories" (1861)
*"Interior of The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Genoa" (1861)
*Unknown title - Portrait of the late daughter of Don Magin of Santiago, Cuba (between 1864 and 1869)
*Unknown title - Portrait of the late Don Pancho Aguerro y Matos of Santiago, Cuba (between 1864 and 1869)
*"James Hannay, Esq." (1864)
*"David Smith" (1864)
*"Head" (1864)
*"Mr Serjeant Simon MP" (1871)
*"Evelyn, daughter of G. J. Reid esq." (1872)
*"Young Castille" (1874)
*"Voices of the Sea" (1874)
*"Morning Work (1876)
*Unknown title - Northern factory girl returning from work (1877)
*"His Excellency Kuo Ta-Jen" (1877)
*"Madonna in Prayer" (Commissioned copy of Sassofferato's work) (1878)
*"A Chinese Lady of Rank" (1879)
*"HRH Prince Leopold" (1881)
*"Home of the Bamboo" (1882)
*"The Printseller" (1883)
*"Longing Eyes" (1884)
*"Mrs. Alfred Mellon" (1884)
*"Mrs. Keeley At Fourscore" (1885)
*"Fanny Stirling" (1886)
*"Grace Darling" (1887)
*"Louise Williams" (c.1887)
*"Mrs Keeley in her 83rd year" (1888)
*"Mr Henry Russell" (1889)
*"Amy Sedgwick" (1889)
*"Mr Lionel Brough" (1890)
*"The Late Mr. Wilkie Collins at the age of 56" (1890)
*"Joaquin Cuadras" (1893)
*"Emperor of The French" (1893)
*"Mariano Fortuny y Marsal" (1893)
*"Mr Samson Lucas" (1906)
*"The Cuban Mulatto Girl" (1906)
*"Young Keeley" (1906)
*Prince Hohenlohe
*Prince Hohenlohe's daughter, Elisabeth
*"Duke of Edinburgh"
*"E. W. Mackney"
*"Henry Pettit"
*"Sir Thomas Brassey and his wife, Sarah Knowles Bolton"
*"A Kitchen Cabinet"

Dates specified are the earliest recorded date the work was displayed, or in some cases the year it was completed.


*The Language of the Face (1876)
*Mrs Louis Goodman (commissioned by The Jewish Chronicle) (1902)


*Pearl of The Antilles or An Artist in Cuba, London: H.S.King & Co. 1873
*The Keeleys On Stage and At Home, London: Bentley and Son 1895
*Un Artista en Cuba. Letras Cubanas (Col. Testimonio). La Habana. 1986

Other publications

*A Cigarette Manufacturer At Havana, London Society (1872)
*Sketches of Santiago, The Graphic (1873)
*Various sketches and stories, All The Year Round, (1873)
*Saved From a Wreck and Cuba Without a Master, Cassell's Magazine (1874)
*Tomasso Salvino (cover engraving), Pictorial World (1875)
*Russian Peasantry, Illustrated London News (1877)
*A Little Baggage, Illustrated London News (1877)
*God is taking care of me, Three Brown Boys and Other Happy Children - Ellen Haile (1879)
*An English Ballet in Spain, The Theatre(1885)
*People I Have Painted, Sala's Journal (1893)
*Artists Studios: As They Were and As They Are, Magazine of Art (1901)
*Romance of the Rubber, The Manchester Courier (date unknown)


External links

* [ Memorial Art Gallery]
* [ Walker Art Gallery]
* [ Royal Institute of Oil Painters]
* [ Exhibition of Jewish art and antiquities]
* [ 1908 postcard from Walter Goodman]
* [$9472 The Printseller]
* [ Mary Anne Keeley]
* [ Fanny Stirling]

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